The Egyptian Ministry of Culture banned the controversial Ridley Scott flick over historical inaccuracies, CNN said, citing a statement from the agency. Egyptian Culture Minister Jabir Asfour called the movie “Zionist.”
“It shows history from a Zionist viewpoint and forges historical events, therefore it is was banned in Egypt,” CNN reported, citing state news agency EGYNews.
“Exodus: Gods and Kings” has been criticized over issues surrounding race as well as lead actor Christian Bale’s not-so-complimentary view of Moses, whom Bale portrays in the newest celluloid version of the Israelites’ flight from Egypt.
Morocco has banned “Exodus” as well since it contains a representation of God, which goes against Islamic principles. The scene in question depicts God appearing as a “child who gives a revelation to the prophet Moses,” the film’s distributor told the Guardian.
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Moroccan media on Thursday reported that cinema managers had been told not to screen the film, despite its release already having been approved by the state-run Moroccan Cinema Centre (MCC). Hassan Belkady, who runs Cinema Rif in Casablanca, said he had been threatened with the closure of his business if he ignored the ban.
“They phoned and threatened they would shut down the theatre if I did not take the film off the schedule,” Belkady said.
The ban of “Exodus” falls in line with the ban enacted on “Noah” by several Muslim nations in March, CNN noted, as the movie depicted Noah, who’s revered as a prophet in Islam.
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News of the ban comes on the heels of the limited release of “The Interview,” the movie that provoked North Korea to vow “merciless” action against the United States over its lampooning of leader Kim Jong Un. On Saturday, North Korea called U.S. President Barack Obama the “chief culprit” who forced Sony to “indiscriminately distribute” the picture.